Winging It


I’ve never made a decision about my life thinking “What I do right here and now is going to change my life”. But those decisions did, just the same.

Marrying Jordan. Going to ASU. Being a teacher. Buying a home. Having a baby. These are obvious ones.

There are also the choices that I didn’t make that shaped me. The things I did not have control over: Moving cross-country when I was 14, or when I was 17. Going to public school. Being raised in church. Being raised at a softball field. Being sat next to the kid who talked too much about nuclear warfare in the fourth grade.

And these decisions, with their varying spots on the spectrum of control, are all good and fine. They are certainly important in their own right. But I’m starting to change the way I think about said big decisions. I’m not sure they are relevant, because I don’t think that I, or whatever force was in present control of my destiny, made up my mind at any one given second. It’s all just a blender of happenstance and how we deal with the mosaic that occurs. Big decisions only sort of matter.

Take college. When I started thinking about it, I was in the back woods of Massachusetts. Like most kids there, I figured I’d apply to a whole bunch of different schools and then figure out where I’d go from there. But then we moved to good ‘ole Arizona. Far less choices for four-year colleges (about…oh, four). And though I dared dream for a brief moment of going back east for school, finances and logic said that a full ride to a state school would need to do.

Or take Carter. Jordan and I always eventually wanted babies. This was amplified by me sneaking and reading his jr. high journal, where he’d written about having a daughter and teaching her to play the piano. Then it got complicated — meaning I was ready, and he wasn’t. Then we both were ready, and the doctor told us he thought it was a girl. So I started having piano-lesson daydreams, only to be cut short by a 12-week anatomy ultrasound that clearly displayed a male. Who will still, hopefully, if he wants to, play the piano. Someday.

Anyway, my official big decisions really only got me half the way to where I am now. Seven years after choosing to go to college in Tempe, I’m here in Phoenix. I have a degree. I met my husband at school (he stared at me funny from the back of the classroom — it was love at first sight). We changed majors together, became teachers. Adopted a dog. Bought a house. Had a son. Blogged about it.

And so, at eleven o’clock at night, I’m making the decision to go to bed. And it will affect very little, and at the same time, everything.

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